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“Solvaa’s service is very helpful for people who understand they need automation to make their lives a little bit easier, especially for solopreneurs who don’t have the resources to outsource a bunch of this stuff” says Zoltan Vardy, Startup Mentor and Founder of The Launch Code.

It’s actually given me a lot more work to do just because I’ve got a lot more leads that I can now follow up on.”

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Find information quickly on how we helped set The Launch Code up for success with our business process optimisation and automation approach.

Solving solopreneurs struggles with optimisation and automation

When we first connected with The Launch Code’s founder, Zoltan Vardy, he wanted to reduce the overwhelm so closely linked with entrepreneurialism by improving lead capturing, management and analysis.

A growing tech-centric SME led by a successful yet time-poor solopreneur, The Launch Code connected with Solvaa to gather and manage leads and to improve access to information and the exchange of ideas in one place. “We live in this world where there seems to be a new tool for everything every week, it’s overwhelming for somebody who doesn’t do this,” says Zoltan.

Calling on Solvaa, The Launch Code wanted an expert partner to help them:

  • Optimise their lead management and outreach efforts
  • Maximise their results from marketing-driven client acquisition activities
  • Automate their task efficiency
  • Leverage existing tools
  • Enhance tool integration
  • Identify additional productivity tools
  • Receive accurate reporting from one easy-to-access source

Before working with Solvaa, the startup mentorship SME used multiple spreadsheets and relied on manual processes. Capturing, nurturing and managing leads was without a full and effective process to maximise productivity and conversion opportunities. These manual processes saw Zoltan burdened with administrative tasks, leads slipping through the cracks, and a lack of a full and transparent picture of the business’s overall health.

Teaming up with Solvaa and their expert approach, the Launch Code have utilised leading comprehensive and connected workflow tools, setting the stage for success and making substantial improvements in:

  • Time savings
  • Their ability to capture, manage and nurture leads
  • Enabling them to utilise existing tools to their full capabilities
  • Accessing and sharing information

Our customised approach gave the startup mentor the necessary strategy, solutions and support to confidently optimise its business processes. Solvaa integrated Pipedrive, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that helps solopreneurs and SMEs manage their sales processes, with the no-code automation tool Zapier, which has become a cornerstone of The Launch Code’s daily business operations.

“I’m relatively open to technology, but I’m certainly not an expert in it—it’s just overwhelming—so just having some foundation, one single source of truth, and having everything easily accessible was a big help,” says Zoltan.

 

Moving from static manual processes to dynamic automation

Arriving on the European tech market in 2020, UK-based The Launch Code helps business-to-business (B2B) tech founders increase their revenue by teaching them how to sell and market to enterprise customers.

Founder Zoltan uses his blueprint system, The Launch Code, which brings together over two decades of experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds. After holding numerous senior executive roles worldwide and engaging in various entrepreneurial pursuits, Zoltan conceptualised and introduced The Launch Code to European tech businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hungarian-based business had an existing understanding of business process optimisation after researching and implementing Pipedrive into its operations. However, it was underutilised and their business workflows still heavily relied on a manual system comprising a static spreadsheet that lacked insights and resulted in lost leads.

Describing himself as a typical solopreneur, Zoltan says, “I’ve got a tonne of stuff to do and a tremendous amount of things to take care of”. Without a big staff rota or team to call upon and instead working by himself or with external freelancers on occasion, The Launch Code was running on manual processes that were becoming increasingly overwhelming.

“I found myself in a position where I just had a lot of very manual recurring tasks that weren’t particularly complicated, but they just took a lot of time to implement and to follow through on,” Zoltan shares.

The Launch Code’s founder receives multiple leads from various sources, including LinkedIn activity, direct messaging, outreach or events. Yet, he didn’t have an effective way to capture, collate, manage and nurture those leads. Handling leads consisted of a manual spreadsheet, which Zoltan used to log new business.

 

A single source of truth

Before working with Solvaa, The Launch Code lacked visibility into the number of leads they were receiving and where leads were dropping off in the sales process. This made it difficult to assess the business’s performance and growth.

The startup mentor, who focuses on technology, needed comprehensive and connected tools, utilised to their full capabilities, underpinned by a bespoke strategy and hands-on approach. The Launch Code wanted to address the underutilisation of key Pipedrive features, improve the effective use of prospect data for identifying hot leads, streamline manual tasks, prevent contact duplicates, and establish a unified reporting system for monitoring website page performance.

Zoltan also wanted one system instead of many standalone apps and spreadsheets. “I found myself not really having a way to track all those and getting those all into one place,” Zoltan adds.

The Launch Code teamed up with Solvaa, whose team implemented Pipedrive and a host of valuable automation specific to his business so Zoltan wouldn’t have to go through different places to access relevant information. Instead, he would have one single source of truth.

 

You run your business, it no longer runs you

Running an SME involves a lot of marketing and capturing. Zoltan simply didn’t have the time to collate his leads, which come from multiple sources, reach out to prospective customers via email, booking discovery calls, or follow up with existing leads.

Like many other solopreneurs and time-poor SMEs, Zoltan used what at first often feels like the simplest, easiest and quickest method to manage workflowa spreadsheet. That is until your business starts to grow. Your tasks increase, as do your days and your sense of overwhelm.

As one customer turns into ten then a hundred, stopping what you’re doing and finding the time and mental energy to research, figure out, and implement business process optimisation and automation may feel like an impossibility. So the spreadsheet sticks, and so too does the stress caused by a lack of clarity on how your business is doing and whether you’re staying on top of your leads.

Not to mention, your manual processes lack the intuitive ability to capture, manage and nurture leads. Accurate and visible data on your business’s health is often therefore lacking, making it difficult to make informed business development decisions. And so the problems continue. The Launch Code was experiencing this very situation before starting to use Pipedrive.

 

Building from a strong foundation, up

Also, like many solopreneurs and time-poor SMEs, The Launch Code use many different apps for client and lead management. To overcome these challenges, the company set out to optimise its business processes, create one point-of-access to receive and share insights, and implement effective automation.

“Kelly just had the presence of somebody who had an understanding of how to do this stuff,” Zoltan says. Speaking of his first conversation with Solvaa founder Kelly Goss and reasons for choosing the UK-based experts, Zoltan says: “It was pretty clear that Kelly had a special relationship with Pipedrive and with ActiveCampaign, and both of those platforms are ones I use.”

The Launch Code implemented Pipedrive, a CRM tool that helps SMEs manage their sales processes, as a core platform. “I wasn’t using it to the level that I am now after the relationship with Solvaa, but I did have it as a core platform.” The same goes for Zapier, “which obviously Kelly is an expert on”.

With neither Pipedrive nor Zapier set up for success, yet both packed full of functionality that The Launch Code wasn’t using, that’s where Solvaa came in. The Launch Code could continue sticking with manual processes or go for optimised and automated business processes that would provide him valuable insights, boost his client portfolio and save him countless hours in productivity leaks and lost leads. It was an opportunity that Zoltan wanted to maximise.

After reaching out to Solvaa and having an introductory call with their founder, Kelly, to discuss The Launch Code’s current problems and needs, Zoltan says, “I signed on pretty much right after that call”.

 

Embracing digital tools to optimise startups

The Launch Code wanted to improve the capturing, tracking and management of their incoming leads and all relevant information using their existing tools. Accessing their full capabilities, Zoltan wanted to optimise his business processes without having to go through many different sources. “It was certainly a big help that Kelly had this expertise in Zapier, in Pipedrive, in ActiveCampaign,” says Zoltan, as these were all platforms he was using.

Implementing technology to streamline workflows and achieve business goals can be overwhelming for many organisations. “I had a very basic understanding and use of these, but they were very basic,” added Zoltan.

Our team at Solvaa understands this challenge, so we conduct a thorough review and engage in a comprehensive planning process before any implementation occurs. With Pipedrive, Zoltan found he “had a certain level of understanding and was using certain things, but there just needed to be a lot of adjustments”.

Adopting our holistic approach, Solvaa conducted an audit process and workshop to thoroughly understand its current business processes. “It was actually a useful exercise because it forces you to think through a lot of stuff that you don’t necessarily have written down,” Zoltan shares.

Kelly then identified the areas where the tech startup mentor would benefit from process optimisation before providing The Launch Code with a comprehensive report detailing their recommendations. Solvaa analysed and advised on The Launch Code’s recommended architecture, how the system would be built, how the sales process would be designed, and what custom fields to include.

“It was certainly a gap in my knowledge and experience and something that, frankly, I just wouldn’t have had the time to do,” says Zoltan. “Even if I had the time, I probably wouldn’t be willing to get into that level of understanding and figure out how to make all this automation stuff work,” says Zoltan.

After recognising the beneficial role business process optimisation with automation would provide The Launch Code, Solvaa also upgraded the business’s Zapier automation to ensure the business’s different systems were talking to each other consistently and effectively.

 

Harmonisation from one easy-to-access system

We have extensive experience working with solopreneurs, and we know that time and how it’s spent is critical. We typically see solopreneurs receiving a high volume of leads and struggling to handle them effectively. Maximising opportunities while avoiding overwhelm is a delicate balance to achieve.

When business process automation is absent, the burden falls on already time-poor solopreneurs busy with other tasks to manually record leads and navigate through different disconnected systems with several login credentials. With the focus on creating one intuitive system that is dynamic and responsive, Solvaa re-envisioned The Launch Code’s existing roster of tools.

Pre-Solvaa, lead management and nurturing were ad hoc and needed optimising to provide clarity and an effective pipeline—Solvaa’s approach to optimising Pipedrive answer that. Pipedrive enables The Launch Code to set up a deal or an opportunity, collecting data. Solvaa gave The Launch Code extensive knowledge on how to use Pipedrive’s lead function and funnel information into it.

Before getting Solvaa onboard, the business didn’t use the email interface in Pipedrive. Today, the Launch Code operates with this entire interface, replacing Zoltan’s old method of cc’ing his emails into Pipedrive. The team worked hard to find an effective and efficient solution after encountering some initial niggles with implementing Pipedrive’s email capabilities. With plenty of hands-on support, Zoltan shares: “Kelly and Rodrigo were on it”.

Never one to avoid a challenge, Solvaa naturally persevered and now has The Launch Code fully set up with optimised and automated email functionality. Capturing what made the experience as smooth as possible, Zoltan shares it’s Solvaa’s “real hands-on technical support as well as just leading your hand through the process”.

The Launch Code now has the ability to track the progress of potential or current customers at any given time during the lead management and nurturing process. Zoltan can easily determine if the customer is still in the prospecting stage, if they’ve had a follow-up call and where they are along with the sales pipeline. By using Pipedrive CRM, he has complete visibility into every lead or opportunity that enters their pipeline and can track its position in the sales process.

Using Pipedrive CRM, the startup mentorship leader now has a centralised platform to gather all necessary information, eliminating the need for spreadsheets and other inefficient manual processes.

 

More leads, more time, more fulfilment

Business has changed so much since The Launch Code’s partnership with Solvaa that Zoltan says in jest, “It’s actually given me a lot more work to do just because I’ve got a lot more leads that I can now follow up on”.

The Launch Code is delighted with the time-saving impact on administrative tasks and optimised business processes with Pipedrive. “I have found it to be a smoother process day-to-day for me to manage my communication and lead management,” says Zoltan.

With the elimination of manual spreadsheet work, Zoltan now has more time to concentrate on high-level strategic initiatives without productivity being compromised. The biggest takeaway for Zoltan lies in how easy and efficient it is now to manage prospective business opportunities. “Lead management has become much better; it’s much more streamlined and structured, making it more manageable.”

“I have enough information coming in from various sources to the landing in my Pipedrive, and then being synced with my to-do list, and just a lot of more accessible stuff,” says Zoltan.

The successful integration has revolutionised existing procedures and established a framework for The Launch Code’s data-focused expansion. With a strong CRM integration and continuous assistance from Solvaa’s expert business process optimization specialists, The Launch Code views its updated approach as a fundamental element in achieving its business objectives.

Looking ahead, The Launch Code will be utilising Solvaa’s expertise and support once more to remove extra admin time. It will do this by optimising the team’s practice management system with the details of won proposals. “I see potential for improvement on my side, which is data management, data analysis, and management,” says Zoltan. “It’s definitely been a step in the positive direction and it was worth the investment I made to make this happen,” Zoltan adds.

As part of our tailored consulting approach, we implemented The Launch Code’s customised Pipedrive and Zapier automation in a two-stage phased process. To manage his workload, Zoltan wanted to introduce the optimisation and automation processes in two stages so he could embrace all its benefits and get it up and running without overwhelming his already busy schedule.

Throughout the project, we provided our expertise on Pipedrive and Zapier to address any concerns, oversee the implementation and guarantee seamless integration between the two solutions. “From a technical understanding perspective, I certainly had the sense that I was dealing with somebody that understood the fundamental tools that I use.”

 

Optimising and automating The Launch Code’s processes

Going from manual to automated business processes, with a strong emphasis on lead capturing, nurturing and management, has seen The Launch Code gain more leads, more time and more clarity on its business’s health and abilities to scale.

Built on comprehensive understanding and a clear strategy, The Launch Code has stresmlined business process workflow optimization utilising all the tools in their tech stack to their full capabilities.

Here, we delve into the recommendations and activities we introduced for The Launch Code.

1. Fully utilising existing tools

Solvaa worked with The Launch Code to leverage their existing tools and make the most out of their capabilities. It sought to maximise the use of Pipedrive, Active Campaign, Outfunnel, and Calendly features.

The Launch Code also wanted to enhance its tool integration by establishing more seamless connections between Pipedrive, Active Campaign, LinkedIn outreach tools, and email campaigns. To ensure all data was housed in one place, it was important The Launch Code had a system that minimised contact duplication in Pipedrive and synchronised it with other relevant tools. Now, the optimisation can also use lead scoring data in Pipedrive and Outfunnel to identify and prioritise hot leads.

Pipedrive CRM provides businesses with a highly customisable and visually intuitive sales pipeline management system. It enables companies to effectively track deals as they progress through various stages of the sales process, helping them stay organised and focused on achieving their sales objectives.

Additionally, Pipedrive CRM offers advanced reporting and analytics tools, empowering businesses to monitor sales activities, forecast revenue, and pinpoint areas for enhancement. Along with its core features, Pipedrive CRM also offers integrations with a variety of third-party applications, including marketing automation, accounting, and communication tools. These integrations can help businesses streamline their workflows and boost productivity.

The Launch Code can streamline processes using Pipedrive automation. When a specific activity type, such as a Calendly Call, is created in Pipedrive, it can trigger an automated email containing qualification questions. Additionally, Zoltan can configure an automated email to be sent if there’s no response to the initial email within a specified time frame. The Launch Code can also include a custom field for specifying the type of qualification questions to be sent.

Solvaa set The Launch Code up with a post-call follow-up outcome tree. Once a call is complete, Zoltan can mark the activity call record as done in Pipedrive. The CRM then triggers an automated email. For a more specific follow-up, The Launch Code can use a custom field to trigger different outcomes.

Client onboarding is also a crucial part of The Launch Code’s lead capture process. Now, once a contract has been signed and the invoice paid, The Launch Code can create a new deal in Pipedrive and automatically enrol the client.

Zapier provides automation to ensure new contacts and deals are seamlessly added to Pipedrive whenever web forms are submitted. The Launch Code can manually add contacts and deals to Pipedrive from their desktop, either within the platform or via email sync, the mobile app and through integrating Facebook Messenger and/or Microsoft Outlook.

2. Capturing, qualifying, nurturing and managing leads

The startup mentor utilises various channels including website, webinars, email and LinkedIn to generate leads. To effectively manage and nurture these leads, the Launch Code requires a tool that can integrate different systems and streamline their lead nurturing process. Adopting this approach, can result in increased conversion rates and decreased productivity leaks.

Lead generation and outreach support was therefore a must-have for The Launch Code. Managing lead generation can be quite a challenge, but Pipedrive makes it much easier with its user-friendly interface and platform design. The Launch Code can now streamline their data management and process activity by centralising all lead generation activities from their website, webinars, emails and social media requests.

Solvaa developed a comprehensive lead capture strategy  including integrating social channels along with webinars. They also integrated prospect outreach via LinkedIn and email, ensuring it aligned with their automation goals. The implementation saw Solvaa set up processes to monitor and prevent generated leads from landing in spam, and implement processes to track and report on website/landing page performance.

Pipedrive’s CRM system creates a set of planned tasks for each lead as it moves through different stages of lead management. These tasks may involve prompts to reach out to leads. Zoltan and any freelance team members can get alerts when it’s time to move on to the next step in the process.

When a new contact is added to Pipedrive from a lead capture channel, it automatically generates a lead. Depending on whether the lead is qualified on a call, a specific process will initiate with prompts for follow-up. This process allows for multiple opportunities for leads to qualify and ensures efficient lead management and follow-up procedures.

Automating task efficiency was a significant project aim too. Solvaa worked with The Launch Code to identify and automate repetitive manual tasks within the workflow and implement automated processes for lead capture and data management.

The startup mentor SME can use Pipedrive’s Leads Inbox feature, which enables Zoltan to store pre-qualified leads in a separate inbox until they decide to promote them to deals. Once they’ve identified the leads worth pursuing, they can convert them to deals and add them to their pipeline to prompt their sales process. By adding these leads directly to their pipeline, the Leads Inbox feature can help The Launch Code quality its leads independently of how they nurture them.

Pipedrive’s recently launched automatic assignment feature can be used to assign new deals, leads, or other relevant items to specific team members or groups based on predefined criteria. This advanced feature streamlines the sales process by automatically assigning tasks to the right individuals without any manual intervention.

3. Strategic marketing and productivity

As part of its business process optimisation, The Launch Code wanted to develop a marketing-driven client acquisition strategy. After developing an extensive understanding of their requirements, Solvaa helped the tech-centric startup founder lay the groundwork for transitioning towards a product-led and marketing-driven client acquisition strategy for online courses and cohort offerings.

Solvaa also established pipelines for sales prospects. Pipedrive supports The Launch Code in monitoring their deal progress by offering insights into their deals according to their pipeline stage in the pipeline view.

A sales pipeline serves as an efficient method for overseeing the different phases of a sales process. It enables companies to monitor their sales activities and gain valuable insights into the advancement of each deal. By implementing a sales pipeline, businesses can enhance their planning, boost efficiency, and promote improved collaboration among sales teams.

In addition, it aids in improving the customer experience by enabling businesses to prioritise their sales efforts and concentrate on the most promising opportunities. In turn, this helps to reduce productivity leaks and saves resources by avoiding deals that are unlikely to close.

Identifying additional productivity tools was also vital. Solvaa researched and found additional tools that could be added to the workflow to increase productivity. In particular, Solvaa explored automation capabilities for The Launch Code to capture leads from advertising and webinars.

4. Effective Email Management

Efficiency is a core benefit of The Launch Code’s new business process-optimised approach. The team can use Pipedrive’s calls and email template features to handle leads quickly and efficiently.

Utilising Pipedrive effectively enables The Launch Code to automate intro and follow-up emails during the email chain, for instance, such as upon contract signing or invoice payment. The business can also add a custom field regarding the invoice status in the lead/deal record.

Pipedrive two-way email syncs emails and email-related activities in both directions between The Launch Code’s email client, such as Gmail or Microsoft Outlook and the CRM system. The email sync feature enables the tech-centric startup to send and receive emails within Pipedrive. These emails are automatically logged in their CRM under the relevant contact, deal or organisation to ensure all outgoing communications are tracked and associated with the correct CRM-based records.

The intuitive tool coupled with Solvaa’s comprehensive implementations offers email tracking, links tracking, email templates, group emailing and email scheduling. The Launch Code can now track email openings and links within the emails. Plus, it has the option to use email templates to avoid writing emails from scratch.

Pipedrive email templates can be a real time-saver. When The Launch Code sends an email through Pipedrive, it’s automatically linked to the contact’s history. Additionally, they can set up workflow automation to add notes and schedule follow-up activities using email templates. This allows Zoltan to track whether the email was opened and if any links were clicked.

When sending calendar invitations, the calendar event will only automatically add to the recipient’s calendar if there have been previous interactions. For first-time invitees, they will need to confirm the booking by clicking on a confirmation link in their email inbox. Google Calendar recently added a new policy for users to help combat spam, which affects all scheduling tools, including Calendly.

By leveraging Zapier, follow-up activities can be synced with ToodleDo. Additionally, based on changes to the custom field “Prospect Segment,” The Launch Code can now automatically send a prospect to either the Calendly or website landing page.

 

Free resources to help save you save time, reduce costs and stay agile with automation

We also have plenty of free resources:

 

Level up your process improvement and Zap building with Kelly’s book

Our founder, Chief Problem Solver and Chief Automator Kelly Goss’ books Automate It with Zapier (first edition) and Automate It with Zapier and Generative AI (second edition), are available on Amazon, and are the most comprehensive Zapier guides on the market. They will get you up and running to the stage where you can build and debug advanced automations.

 

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking through the link.

 

Solvaa: Strategy, Solutions, Support

UK-based Solvaa® is a systems, process and automation consultancy specialising in improving business workflows. Solvaa® works with SMEs worldwide to implement digital tools, better processes, use business process automation and generative AI to boost productivity, enhance lead management, and remove unnecessary time, costs and hassles from stretched business owners’ days.

We help you simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient, and automate manual tasks. Our business process automation specialists have extensive experience using multiple cloud-based business tools, including Zapier, Pipedrive CRM, SmartSuite, Xero, Google Suite, ClickUp, Asana, Airtable, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Quickbooks and many more. We are Zapier Certified Experts, SmartSuite Certified Partners, Pipedrive Certified Partners and Xero Certified Advisors.

Solvaa® was founded in 2016 by Kelly Goss, a no-code solutions architect, business process automation specialist and author of Automate It with Zapier (first edition) and Automate It with Zapier and Generative AI (second edition).

A thought leader on business process automation and digital adoption, Kelly recently attended an invite-only Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the UK government at No.10 Downing Street, providing insights and recommendations on how SMEs can benefit from productivity gains by using digital technologies, automation and AI.

Contact us today to find out how Solvaa can help your business make big savings on operational costs and time, and significantly increase productivity.

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Header image for the Solvaa blog post AI-tomation: how Zapier is AI to make automation easy. Part 3 - AI apps to turbocharge your Zaps

AI-tomation: how Zapier is using AI to make automation easy

Welcome to the third instalment of our series on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) with Zapier. In this edition, we explore different ways Zapier supports AI, like OpenAI and ChatGPT. This blog post shows how 'generative AI' and automation can increase...
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